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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The mimic women: early women novelists and white southern African nationalisms
Author:Chennels, AnthonyISNI
Year:2004
Periodical:Historia: amptelike orgaan
Volume:49
Issue:1
Pages:71-88
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:women writers
literature
English language
novels
About person:Cynthia Stockley
Abstract:Basing himself on the work of, amongst others, Frantz Fanon, the author notes that masking is never so successful that a mask is not recognized as a disguise and that mimicry allows both the mimicking medium and the voice or gesture that is being mimicked to be simultaneously recognizable. Then he uses the case of Rhodesian women writers to illustrate this argument. In Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), women were considered the bearers of sons and daughters for the new country, and women writers were responsible for providing the narratives that would legitimize the birth of a new nation. In the cacophony of multiple and competing voices they had to command a voice that spoke with authority even if that involved mimicking other voices: if the southern African woman writer wanted to be taken seriously, she had to appropriate the tone and the perspectives of the metropole. Cynthia Stockley's 'Poppy: the story of a South African girl' (1910) serves as an illustration. Attention is also briefly paid to Stockley's 'The claw' (1911) and novels by Gertrude Page. Notes, ref., sum. in English and Afrikaans. [ASC Leiden abstract]
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